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John Mandeville
MANDEVILLE, John.

MANDEVILLE, John.
(c1300 - 1372)

(Born: c1300; Died: 1372) Dutch explorer & author.

Mandeville, which was probably a pseudonym, was the author of the book generally known as Travels of Sir John Mandeville, written in Norman French between 1357 and 1371. Virtually nothing is known of Mandeville. Much of the book was borrowed from narratives written by several world travelers and compiled into an entertaining first-person narrative, a compendium of medieval knowledge and speculation concerning such places as Jerusalem, India, and China.

Biographical references: Biografisch Woordenboek België. DNB. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: 2, 660.

Le lapidaire en francoys, c1495

1. French, c1495 [First edition].
[Within a frame of two woodcuts on the top and right:] [Dark C] Le lapidaire en francoys coittpose par | messire Jehan de mandeuille cheualier. | [Woodcut device].

4°: a-c6; 18l., $i - $iij; no catchwords; 32 or 33 lines to the page. Presumed imprint: Lyon, Printer of Bernardus de Gordonio, Lilium Medicale, [c1495]. Page size: 165 x 92 mm.

Contents: a1r, "[in a 2-piece frame (top and right):] [Dark C] Le lapidaire en francoys compose par | messire Iehan de mandeuille cheualier. | [device]."; a1v, "[within a 3-piece frame (top left and bottom):] [woodcut, 64x64 mm., of a man writing at a table, Claudin, iv, 39]".; a2r, "[A5]Louneur [sic] et a la gloire de la saincte trinite. | ¶ A la requeste de treshault et puissant hom | me Regnier de son viuant roy de cecille et de | Iherusalem. ..."; on c6r, "in te viuit et regnat deus per omnia secula seculorum. Ame[n] | [blank line] | [Dark C] Deo gratias."; c6v, blank.

Extremely rare. Editio Princeps. Attributed to Mandeville this lapidary written in the French language first appeared in manuscripts that date from the middle 14th century. Pannier (1882) describes and compares several such manuscripts that had come under his inspection, and concludes that the text was probably not an authentic work of Mandeville. Instead, Pannier believes it to be the work of an unnamed jeweler.

The text describes the most important precious stones and many others of a fantastic nature. It begins by coping from Marbode, the leading lapidary of the period, descriptions of about two dozen stones. Then are given descriptions of other stones and minerals both imaginary and real including pumice, mica, alabaster, and lapis lazuli. Stones formed in the human body or the bodies of animals are very prominent, as these bezoar and eaglestones were believed to bestow on their owner marvelous or supernatural power.

Due to the extreme rarity of all of the early editions the printing history of this work is a difficult bibliographical problem. The widely unknown incunabula edition described above was first noticed and examined in detail by David J. Shaw, whose information is copied (person communication). This is most probably the first printing of Mandeville's Lapidaire, although Klebs (1938) who copies Claudin (1900) briefly describes a tantalizing Lapidaire written in French and published at Lyon in 1477 that is perhaps a still earlier printing. The difficult to read manuscript description of this 1477 book published in Pellechet (1970) does not mention Mandeville's name, but the work deserves closer examination.

English translation, c1999: Contained in Bruce G. Knuth's Gems in Myth, Legend, and Lore, New York, Jewelers Press, c1999, 310 p., illus. [ISBN 0-9643550-1-9]. In addition to the translation of Mandeville, this reference also includes the gemological characteristics of each stone and hundreds of quotations regarding precious stones from classic pieces of literature.

Bibliographical references: BL [C.27.f.2.]. Claudin, Histoire de l'Imprimerie, 1900-15: 3, 49. Goosse, A., "Jean d'Outremeuse et Jean de Mandeville", in: Festschift Walther von Wartburg zum 80. Geburtstag. Tübingen, 1968, 1, 235-50. Klebs, Incunabula Scientifica, 1938: no. 588.1 [lists copies at Marseille, Münich and the Bibliotheca Nationale, Paris]. Mourin, L., "Les lapidaires attribués à Jean de Mandeville et à Jean à la Barbe", Romanica Gandensia, 4, (1955), 159-91. Pannier, Les Lapidaires Français, 1882: pp. 189-204 [general discussion of Mandeville's Lapidaire]. Pellechet, Catalogue General des Incunables, 1970: 9, p. 6996, no. 7042 [attributes it to Lugduni, Guilelanus Le Roy, n.d.].

2. French, c1500.
Le Lapidaire en francoys compose par messire Iehan demandeuille cheualier. [Paris, Michel Le Noir, c1500.]

2°: A-B6; 12l.; no pagination. Paragraph marks.

Extremely rare. Mandeville was one of the most famous traveller's of the Middle Ages, but his most popular accounts of the world's wonders may have been dervived from his imagination and books of his own library. The Hoover Catalog mentions the sources of David C. Cabeen, A Critical Bibliography of French Literature, I. The Mediaeval Period (Syracues, 1952), p. 492. Also, the Voynich Catalogue 31, no. 143 (1912?).

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. CBN [no copy listed]. Goosse, A., "Jean d'Outremeuse et Jean de Mandeville", in: Festschift Walther von Wartburg zum 80. Geburtstag. Tübingen, 1968, 1, 235-50. Hoover Collection: no. 555. Klebs, Incunabula Scientifica, 1938: p. 216. Mourin, L., "Les lapidaires attribués à Jean de Mandeville et à Jean à la Barbe", Romanica Gandensia, 4, (1955), 159-91. NUC [no copy listed]. Pannier, Les Lapidaires Français, 1882. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4148.

Le Lapidaire en Francoys, c1515

3. French, c1515.
Le Lapidaire en fran | coys compose par messire Iehan | de Mandeuille Chevalier | [Printer's device] | [Dark C] Venundantur Lugduni in offici | na Ludouici Lanchart Cōmorantis | ante intersignium Magdalene.

8°: a-c8; 24l.; no pagination. 25 lines. Text ends on c8r, "[Dark C] Deo gratais." Extremely rare.

Contents: a1r, Title page.; a1v-c8r, Text.; c8v, Blank.

Bibliographical references: BL [C.27.f.2.]. Brunet. Catalogue des Bibliotheque de Rothschild, 1884-1920: 1, 92-3 [reproduces the title page]. CBN. Hoover Collection: no. 555n. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4149.

4. French, 1544.
Le Lapidaire en Francoys. Contenant la Proprieté & Vertu de Plusieurs Pierres Precieuses. Et les Noms & Couleurs desdictes Pierres et les Leux ou ilz Croissent. Auecq le liure techel des Philosophes & des Yndoys faict des enfans d'Israel. Translaté de Latin en Francoys par Messire Iehan de Mandeuille Cheualier. Paris, Per Alain Lotrian, 1544.

8°: A-C8; 24l.; no pagination. Title vignette, ornamental initials, paragraph marks. Colophon: [ornament] Cy finist le Lapidaire en Francoys nouuellement imprimé à Paris. Very rare.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. Brunet: 3, col. 1361. Hoover Collection: no. 556. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4150.

5. French, 1561.
Le Grand Lapidaire= | où sont declarez | les Noms de Pierres Orientales | avecque les Vertus et Propriées d'icelles. | Aussi les isles et pays | ou elles croissent et don ou les aporte. | Compose par | Messire Jan de Mandeville, | Chevalier. | Veu et corrige par plusiers marchans, ayant este esdictz pays et | regions, avecque l'opinion des habitants d'iceuc; | outre les precedentes impressions; | Mil, cinq=cens, soixante et un. | [ornament] | A Paris. | Pour Jean Bonfons, libraire, deneurant en la rue neuve Nostre Dame, | a l'enseigne Saint Nicolas.

12°:

Very rare. The National Library of France holds a copy in its collections [FRBNF39309084].

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. Brunet: 3, col. 1361. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4151 [no detail].

Le Grand Lapidaire, 1610

6. French, 1610.
Le Grand Lapi= | daire/ ou sont declarez | les Noms de Pier= | res Orientales avecque les Vertus | et Propriées d'icelles. Aussi les Is= | les et pays ou elles croissent/ | et don ou les aporte. Com= | pose par Messire Jan | de Mandeville, | Chevalier. | [Dark C] Veu et corrige par plusiers marchans, ay= | ant este esdictz pays et regions, auecque | l'opinion des habitants d'iceuc/ outre les | precedentes impressions. Mil, cinq cens, | soixante et un. | [ornament] | A Paris. | Pour Jean Bonfons, Libraire/ deneurant en | la rue neuve Nostre Dame/ a l'enseigne | Saint Nicolas.

12°: Very rare.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed].

7. French, 1862.
Le lapidaire | Du | Quatorzième Siècle. | Description | Des | Pierres Précieuses Et De Leurs Vertus Magiques, | D'Après Le Traité | Du | Chevalier Jean De Mandeville, | Avec | Notes, Commentaires Et Un Appendice | Sur Les Caractères Physiques Des Pierres Précieues, | À L'Usage Des Gens Du Monde | Par | Is. del Sotto. | [ornate rule] | Vienne. | Imprimerie Impériale Et Royale De La Cour Et De L'État. | 1862.

4°: xv, [2], 213 p., 2 woodcut tables.

Very scarce. Edited by Isidore del Sotto. Reproduction in quasi-type facsimile of the Le Grand Lapidaire (Paris, 1561) [which see entry above] together with an extensive commentary. "Cet ouvrage, écrit en vieux français, contient force mots inusités ...; nous en offrons ... une espèce de reproduction, en langage moderne, dans laquelle cependant la naïveté du style et de l'expression a été conservée chaque fois qu'elle ne portait pas trop atteinte à la compréhension."-Preface.

Facsimile reprint, 1972: Le lapidaire du quatorzieme siecle description des pierres precieuses et de leurs vertus magiques d'apres le traite du chevalier Jean de Mandeville. Avec notes, commentaires et un appendice sur les caracteres physiques des pierres precieuses a l'usage des gens du monde, Isaac del Sotto. Geneve, Slatkine Reprints, 1974. xv, 213 p., illus.

Bibliographical references: BL [7106.cc.7.]. Brunet: 7, col. 933. Caillet, Manuel, 1912: no. 7069. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 6254.

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